ORLANDO, Fla. – A professor at the University of Central Florida was arrested Thursday after police said he stalked a female student for months.
Officials from the UCF Police Department said Ali Borji, 39, an assistant professor, was arrested in his on-campus office on June 28. Borji has been charged with two counts of stalking. UCF spokesman Mark Schlueb said Borji had previously submitted his resignation, to take effect July 1, and has since been trespassed from campus.
Schlueb said the victim reported the case to police on Monday. UCF Police Chief Carl Metzger urged any students faculty or staff to report sexual misconduct to UCFPD.
"Our detectives acted swiftly in this case, as the UCF Police Department does when anyone feels threatened," Metzger said. "We have zero tolerance for this type of behavior."
Officers said the alleged stalking took place over the fall 2017 and spring 2018 semesters, with Borji sending the victim over 800 messages a day, some of which the victim described as "extremely disturbing."
The arrest report quotes some of those messages, saying Borji told the victim "you should be happy that somebody likes you this much to stalk you," and "you think I am sick and I may be! But I still love you."
Borji also told the victim he would create an artificial intelligence of her so he could "could do anything he wanted," according to investigators.
Police said Borji found the victim through Facebook in fall 2017 and began messaging her, offering her help with her degree program. After meeting a few times, Borji asked the victim on a date and she agreed, according to police. Officers said after a few dates, when the victim decided the relationship should remain strictly professional, Borji began stalking her.
Borji's arrest report said the victim told Borji she was not interested in talking to him and to stop contacting her.
The report quotes an email exchange between Borji and the victim on Oct. 14 2017. In this exchange, the victim wrote "stop contacting me or I will report all this to the proper authorities," to which Borji replied "Please listen to me! We are just one step away from eternal happiness! Lets (sic) just try one more time please."
This contact continued and escalated, officers said. Officers described Borji's interactions as becoming more persistent, with him attempting to talk to the victim through email, phone calls, messages and Facebook and eventually contacting the victim's family members to inform them of his love.
Police said this incessant contact prompted the victim to block Borji on all social media. Borji continued to attempt to communicate with her through email, according to police. Officials said when the victim threatened to file a police report, Borji bought her a ring and an iPad, both of which she refused.
The victim eventually left UCF and moved out of state during the fall 2017 semester because of the stalking, according to the arrest report. The report said Borji's contact with her stopped.
Investigators said when the victim returned to UCF in the spring 2018 semester, Borji received her new phone number through friends and began messaging her through an app, as well as attempting to talk to her in person.
The arrest report lists instances of Borji finding the victim in the gym, watching her through a gym window and waiting for her in the parking lot, even after the victim asked him to leave her alone "several times."
The victim was too scared to go anywhere alone, according to police. Officials said Borji used his position as a professor to get the victim to speak with him, waiting in his office outside of normal routine to try and run into her.
Police said Borji's stalking behavior was becoming more aggressive. They said the victim reported seeing Borji following her in his car June 26 as she left the gym at night.
Officers said they arrested Borji on June 28 after determining he posed a significant risk to the victim's safety.
The report quotes Borji as telling officers "in his culture [it] was acceptable" to continue talking to the victim after she asked him to stop. Officers said Borji acknowledged he made a mistake after admitting the email address used to contact the victim was his.
Law enforcement officials said they identified Borji as a suspect in a similar incident at the University of South Florida in which no arrests were made.
The woman in that case told police that Borji had sent several "strongly worded" unwanted messages to her after he found on on the dating website, eHarmony. The woman told police Borji had lied to her about his occupation, and had reached out to her through her office, Facebook and LinkedIn, which violates the terms and conditions of eHarmony. Detectives said no arrests were made in that case.
Borji is currently being held at the Orange County Jail on $1,000 bond.